Birthdays are definitely a reason to reflect on life. If I compare my life a year ago to where I am now, it is completely different. It is amazing how we need to go through tough seasons in order to grow and mature.
Some seasons aren’t fun.
I made a really hard decision at the end of 2015, the subsequent months have been tough and liberating all in one go. Life altering in fact! But the decision I made was the best decision I could have made.
Looking back the time spent deciding whether I should stay in a broken marriage or get out was much harder than the time spent rediscovering myself. Or even finding my feet. At the end of the day, worrying whether I will make ends meet financially or deal with my children’s anger and resentment was far easier than dealing with constant conflict and mistrust at home.
In the past year, I have gotten to know my children in ways I didn’t think was possible. I have seen them deal with stuff no kids should have to. Coming from a broken home myself, I knew the consequences of choosing to leave a whole lot better than most. This was why I stayed for so long and why getting a divorce was, for the longest part of my unhappy marriage, not an option.
Logan the Brave
Logan got a double whammy! He had to deal with his own anger, as well as a huge amount of rejection. I wish I could say he was only rejected by my ex, but the rejection was much greater. We have had to deal with my burst of anger and irrational emotions. His reactions were completely understandable and I was (still am, some days) in over my head.
Logan’s growth has been one of my greatest sources of pleasure. Despite every unwanted opinion and enormous emotional uncertainty, he managed to bring home a report card with 4 distinctions!
The Wild Card, Oliver
Oliver is still a wild card because his dad remains his hero. Most of the time, I think Oliver believes I rejected his dad and all of it is my fault. I know he is only little and in time he will be old enough to understand why I made the decisions I made. But some days the rejection and anger he has towards me become unbearable. For now, all I can do is allow a little boy to adore his dad and support him during every stage as much as I can.
I remember the first couple of months after I left K. I remember the exhaustion and the relief I felt. The little 2 bedroom garden flat shell we moved in, slowly became home. It isn’t the perfect or near ideal, but it was and is a safe place for me. I feel like I can just be myself without pretence, without second guessing or over-analysing every interaction with the person who shared my space.
In the beginning, I used to live for every second weekend when the kids would visit K. I would take afternoon naps at 6 pm at night and wake up 9 pm. I indulged in series, chocolate and good books.
At times my own presence would be overwhelming and yet later, I was so comfortable to be by myself, that I actually started enjoying my own company.
I found healing and restoration I so longed for, emotional crutches and all!
Meeting Al has been the cherry on top. I love that I went through a period of self-discovery to gain my independence before I met him. I also really love that we compliment each other even though our interests are worlds apart.
Birthday Reflections Complete
My birthday this year was really relaxing. For the first time in ages, I went to work for half the day, I normally put in leave for the day, but wanted to save my leave for December. My colleagues always make the day special for me and this year was no different. And in return, I got to spoil them with traditional old school party packs. The afternoon I had lunch with a friend and the spoils continued all throughout the day, and weekend!
I am really excited about the coming year. I know there will be new sets of challenges and somehow, seeing how far I have come, makes me realise, that even the crappier parts in life should be lived and enjoyed.
Every season brings a new level of understanding and appreciation.